Building Solidly from the Blueprint

Once an organization decides to create a credential – after determining the fit with mission, demand and level – the next steps are equally critical. Strategic decisions now must link the findings of the practice analysis and candidate eligibility with exam development and administration. 

ProExam is the most experienced in developing valid, reliable and defensible exams that are core to any program, using proven procedures – and following a process documented in our landmark reference, Guidelines for the Development, Use and Evaluation of Licensure and Certification Programs.

1Test Specifications. ProExam, using the results of the Practice Analysis as a guide, works with subject-matter experts and weighs task and knowledge areas to develop a set of defensible test specifications. These form a framework for an overall examination development plan.

2Item Development. ProExam determines the number of items (or test questions) that are required to be developed and banked annually to meet your testing objectives. Next, we train item writers and reviewers, and coordinate submission of draft items.

ProExam Write, our secure, web-based item development system, allows for item submission, review, revision and access to custom resource materials. Then we work with you for a final, formal review and validation of items, either face-to-face or virtually.

ProExam can provide editors to correct item grammar and syntax, fix problems with structure and logic, and ensure items conform to format and style preferences. Our editors also know standards for answer choice structure, reading level, psychometric soundness and avoiding bias. We examine items to ensure test questions are fair, valid and appropriate, and free from cultural bias or unequal impact on non-native speakers of English.

3Construction Plan. ProExam creates an examination construction plan. Our plan includes recommendations on equating methodology, statistical criteria for selecting items to be included on an examination form, comparable structure and face validity among forms, the number of forms needed annually, size and number of pretest blocks annually, and item overlap across forms and administration cycles. 

4Exam Assembly.  ProExam builds draft examination forms and pretest blocks, using both the test specification and examination construction plan as reference. Our objective is to construct forms with a mix of items which maximize the reliability and validity of the exam as the basis for credentialing decisions. We then work with you either face-to-face or virtually to review, revise and approve forms and blocks.

ProExam Bank, our secure, professional-level item banking and exam development system, is central to exam construction. With it, we not only build examination forms, pretest and equator blocks, but also analyze and track item and examination performance. And, uniquely, manage both English and non-English language item banks.

If desired, ProExam experts can coordinate closely with your translation service, helping manage form translation on your schedule and identify any translation-related differences in item and form performance.

5Standard Setting. ProExam applies industry-accepted standard setting methodologies to establish the cut score for your credentialing exam. Whether it's a face-to-face or virtual meeting, we will work with you to determine the method, timing and place.